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Second Place
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
38 posts | 29 read | 11 to read
On a sun-soaked Parisian street, M, a mother on the brink of rebellion, wanders into a famous artists gallery show. The artists paintings speakquite literallyto her, promising a liberation usually reserved for men. She returns to the coastal home she shares with her husband, but the unsettling impression of the art, and the evasive artist, remains. So she writes, inviting him to stay in their second place, a modest cottage salvaged from the land. When historical catastrophe upends daily life, Ms daughter returns to the marsh, along with her prim, privileged boyfriend. The painter arrives, too, accompanied by a lithe, cosmopolitan lover. Resigned to the perilous indoors, fissures form within the strange group. The painters quietly demonic presence wreaks havoc with M, plunging her into existential disarray. As secrets, alliances and private desires come to light, she is forced to choose between her deepest impulses: to comply or to rebel completely. Like her acclaimed Outline trilogy, Rachel Cusks Second Place transcends its form. Inspired by Lorenzo in Taos, Mabel Dodge Luhans 1932 memoir of the writer D. H. Lawrences fraught visit to her communal property, the novel hovers between past and present, Gothic and contemporary, fable and truthcontinuing to haunt us long after weve looked away.
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review
Graywacke
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this. I‘ve now read 11 from the last Booker longlist, 2 to go. Cusk is intense in the first sentence. And the monologue never stops. If you can tolerate that, she‘s a wonderful writer who captures thought processes in complex ways that touch familiar. Here the married narrator invites a male artist to live on her property‘s extra place, the second place. The rest plays with layers; and also with and against the expected trope.

Graywacke And I could say so much more. Gender roles and constraints, privilege, relationships, communication, art, identity, what makes a meaningful moment, or was it all for literary effect…and that writing style. (edited) 5mo
vivastory I've read only one Cusk, but I did enjoy it & have been meaning to explore her work further 5mo
Graywacke @vivastory I had read a chunk of Outline in a Paris Review years ago and it stuck around. But that was all. I found this the same style, but more intense (which is good and bad), and more inward looking and self-eviscerating (but with a layering nuance that cuts in several different ways) 5mo
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vivastory Outline is the one that I read & I am certainly intrigued to hear this described as more intense as although I enjoyed Outline it felt a bit ethereal in places. She is an interesting thinker. There seem to be a lot of connections between her & Ali Smith, but definitely a lot of differences as well. I think it'd be an interesting experiment to read them in tandem. 5mo
Alfoster Yes! I loved this one as well! Didn‘t initially realize it was based on D.H. Lawrence (and as a retired high school English teacher, I loved that little tidbit)! 5mo
Graywacke @vivastory Ali Smith. Hmm. Interesting comparison to think through. The differences strike me first. I mean of course both are contemporary British women writers of thoughtful fiction and likely similar outlook. Cusk is so serious and Ali is so playful and witty. I really love Ali‘s style. 5mo
Graywacke @Alfoster 🙂 Cusk has a way of thinking, no? The DHL connection is very interesting… 😁but I have never read Lawrence…. yet 5mo
vivastory Ali Smith's style definitely appeals to me more than Cusk's. Have you read the following? It's one of her more under the radar works but definitely one of my favorites 5mo
vivastory I've heard a few people compare Companion Pieces to it, which really intrigued me 5mo
Alfoster I only read Lawrence in college; not sure I‘d want to now!😝 5mo
Graywacke @vivastory noting Artful! 5mo
Graywacke @Alfoster 😂 maybe I wouldn‘t like him. But it would be nice to find out. 5mo
Alfoster Let me know if you do! I‘d be willing to give him another try!🤞 5mo
Graywacke @Alfoster where should I begin? 5mo
Alfoster Hmmm…Maybe Lady Chatterley‘s Lover or Sons and Lovers (free from Amazon on kindle), or poetry if you like it! I can‘t sit down with a whole book of poetry but lots of people can! Let me know when you do! 5mo
Graywacke @Alfoster thanks. I will! 5mo
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blurb
Graywacke
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Next book. (One of three left from the Booker 2021 longlist)

Leftcoastzen Cute !🐶 5mo
vlwelser What are your other 2? This one wasn't my fav. But she gets extra points for vocab usage. 5mo
Cathythoughts I thought it was very good. 5mo
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Graywacke @vlwelser I have China Room and No One is Talking About This left. I really enjoyed Cusk‘s first chapter monologue. @Cathythoughts oh, good! @Leftcoastzen Our pup a sweetie, unless you‘re a stranger, because then she pulls out her hellhound mask. 5mo
vlwelser I listened to this as an audiobook and that may have been a mistake. I might try her books again. I'll be curious to see what you think of those other 2. Do you read all of the longest ones first? You seem to be left with the short ones. 5mo
Graywacke @vlwelser yes, intentionally. I list them in length order and then begin on audio with the longest. The idea is to overcome my intimidation… and that it gets easier as my enthusiasm wains. ☺️ But this has to vary with availability and series. Last year two were the 3rd of a trilogy and one wasn‘t released in the US until Sep 2021, so that messed with things. Also - I try to limit the audio to ~10 hours or more, and find shorter books in print. 5mo
58 likes6 comments
review
Kazzie
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
Pickpick

This was good. It takes close reading to understand Rachel Cusk, but is worth it. So many insights on life wrapped up in the narrative. The story didn‘t go in the direction I thought it would, but was satisfying

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Twocougs
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

At one stage I wasn‘t sure why I didn‘t just let this go but thank goodness I didn‘t. It‘s beautifully written and so wonderfully, dramatically human in all our complicated messes.

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Pinta
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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^^p32 Strong WILL as asset & liability.
Cusk comes at it hard with observation after observation: on parenting adult children, on selfhood, on obligation. Seemingly hospitable narrator who can‘t relinquish control.

P35 small ominous bits, GREAT chapter end:
“Tony is not someone who interferes lightly in the course of things, knowing as he does that to take on the work of fate is to incur full responsibility for its consequences.”
—PAGE TURN—

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Pinta
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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^^p98 many passages give themselves over to excuses for artists‘ bad behavior. Yet Tony, husband & laborer=maybe most admirable character. TRUTH? Another selfish perversion.
P55 “when I looked at the marsh, for instance, which seemed to obey so many of his rules of light and perception that it often resembled a painted work by him, I was in a sense looking at works by L that he had not created, and was therefore—I suppose—creating them myself.”

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Pinta
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

Masterful psychological studies in crisp, compelling prose. Woman offers male painter her guesthouse. Inspiration, will, expectations, practical labor vs. artistic labor, gender roles, patronage, “freedom.” Epistolary tone allows for funny exclamations & asides, but addressing all to poet “Jeffers” can be distracting. Homage to Mabel Luhan, patron of DH Lawrence. Now to learn abt Luhan! Painfully clever. But WTH with Cusk‘s creaky sans-serif? 2021

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BekaReid
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Had some fun with Word Art to make a collage of my top books of 2021. Each of these books stood out in their own way and lingered with me. And although I did try to narrow it to the #top21of2021 I couldn't decide which to cut, so it's 22.

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batsy
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Lovely #bookmail today and I'm pretty sure this is from you @Cathythoughts ! Thank you so much, sweet friend 😘 My first Cusk and I'm really looking forward to it ❤️

JamieArc I‘ll be curious to see your review. For me, at the time, it was just okay. Yet months later, I still think about it. 9mo
batsy @JamieArc It's interesting how some books are like that! Doesn't make much of an impression when you're reading but later you find it has wormed its way into your brain 🙂 9mo
Cathythoughts Yes , from me SP 😁. Like @JamieArc, I think about it too. Also I‘ll be curious to see your review…. Someday 😄 .. so MANY books. Your welcome X Happy holiday season Suba 😘 9mo
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batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks again, Cathy 💜 I guessed right 😁 & it was lovely to get it in the mail. There's a little something coming your way from Book Depo; it might not be there in time for Xmas but hopefully to ring in the new year. A suitably wintry read 💙❄️ 9mo
Cathythoughts Thanks so much X XX 9mo
nathandrake1997 One of my favourite books of the year ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Can't wait to read your thoughts on this ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 9mo
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Well-ReadNeck
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Panpan

Ooof! I really didn‘t like this latest from Rachel Cusk, although I adored Outline. The two primary characters here were both unlikeable and the narrator‘s constant references to “Jeffers”, the unexplained person she is telling this tale to, was off-putting. #ToB22

Litsi She may have gone one book too far on the unidentified character thing. 10mo
Cathythoughts I did enjoy this one . But yes the ‘Jeffers‘ thing was annoying ( as were s lots of the book) still I thought it was worth reading .. and I‘m going to stack (edited) 10mo
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AnneCecilie
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

I loved Cusk‘s Outline trilogy and I love books about art. However, I had seen some very mixed reviews of this one, but I needn‘t have worried. I so enjoyed this and raced through it.

M invites the artist L to stay with her and her husband. M feel in love with L‘s art several years ago when she saw them at a gallery. When L finally comes to visit, it doesn‘t turn into the visit M expected and hoped for.

Ruthiella That‘s one off the TOB longlist! 10mo
56 likes1 comment
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rachaich
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Mehso-so

I chose this as I'm trying to read all the Booker short list.
Whilst I appreciate the writing, I had no investment in the characters at all. I liked the slight references to the pandemic, and some of the musings.

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ClairesReads
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Through the device of a literal "second place" Cusk explores a lot of ideas tangentially related to coming second. It is a story about a second space that sits adjacent to our lives which we can observe but not always participate in. Equally it is about a second life and what it is like to be living one. Mostly it is about the competitive nature of human nature, and the frustrating feeling of coming second, even when we know we can't all win.

Cathythoughts Nice review 👍🏻 I enjoyed this one 11mo
ClairesReads @Cathythoughts thanks Cathy. I really did too. Have you read any of Cusk‘s other novels? 11mo
27 likes2 comments
review
rachelk
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Inspired by the memoir “Lorenzo in Taos”, a middle aged woman (M) invites a famous painter to stay in her second home on the coastal marsh, where she lives with her husband. The acerbic artist becomes a catalyst for psychodrama and introspection as M ruminates on life, love, art, motherhood, criticism, independence and the nature of identity. It can be a bit pretentious but the prose are often gorgeous and thought provoking.

Simona Scrolling through your reviews, and I‘m glad that we have similar taste for books! I liked Second Place too … 8mo
rachelk @Simona Yes! It looks like we have similar affection for adorable doggies too! 🐶 (edited) 8mo
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AlizaApp
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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An unnamed woman invites a famous artist to come live in her guest house, in a secluded marsh of an unnamed country. The artist arrives with a much younger woman, and they both disrupt the host‘s home and life in unforeseen ways. I didn‘t really ever understand what the narrator actually wanted from the arrangement, or why she was so upset.

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Simona
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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No #bookbingo in August, but nevertheless, it was good reading month with many interesting stories. #bookspin #doublespin

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! Fantastic month!!! 13mo
34 likes1 comment
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Simona
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

The perception of the individual is what shapes our personal/intimate reality and, of course, the problem arises when our reality/expectations do not match the perception of another individual. For me, this clash/relation between expectations is the main thread, which author spread out to the various spheres of life - partnership relations, maternity, and, above all, art and creativity. The whole story is based on the self-reflection of the … 👇

Simona … main character who feels invisible/ignored and criticised (criticism is another important thread), which requires a concentrated reader, but the final result/message of this layered story is simply magnificent. #BookerPrize2021 #doublespin 13mo
BarbaraBB Wow that‘s a raving review. I assume this is your favorite? 13mo
charl08 This was a big ol' "No.thank you" from me. I have been glad since to see others liked it, as it made me feel less guilty! 13mo
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TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 13mo
Simona I have two strong favourites this year The Promise by Galgut and yes, Second place 😁 @BarbaraBB 13mo
Simona @charl08 I saw reviews here on Litsy, and it seems that this is a book that doesn‘t allow a middle ground - whether you like it or not at all. I like seeing so different reactions and interpretations of the story. 13mo
batsy Nice review! I really need to get around to Cusk soon. 13mo
Simona Thank you @batsy That was my first Cusk and I‘m totally smitten by her complicated prose 😘 13mo
36 likes8 comments
review
mjtwo
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Mehso-so

20-29 Aug 2021
Booker Longlist 2
M, the self-obsessed narrator, invites L, a snarling, misogynistic artist, to occupy the ‘Second Place‘ on the property she shares with her long-suffering husband, Tony. In return for this patronage M seems to expect some kind of reward - sexual attention ? A flattering portrait? Gratitude? I continued to read in the hope of finding out but alas the characters‘ motives remained muddy. Not a winner for me.

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nathandrake1997
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

Sometimes, the deepest and the most open-ended conversations, the most rewarding yet the most confusing conversations, the kind of conversations that are essential but also the kind that are about a lot of things but resolve almost nothing, basically the kind of conversations where we address our own selves in third person....

nathandrake1997 ....This is the closest I could come to interpreting the fascinating "Jeffers" character in Rachel Cusk's magnificent Booker Longlisted SECOND PLACE.... 13mo
nathandrake1997 ....Who or what is this Jeffers is never made clear to us throughout the book but still we are as intrigued by this character with almost no definition in a traditional sense as we are with the central characters of the book. This makes the book transcend form in a rather interesting manner.... 13mo
nathandrake1997 ....If Jeffers is a friend with whom our protagonist, who is simply referred to as "M", is having a conversation, even that means of conversation makes the definition of the writing style malleable in an interesting manner.... 13mo
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nathandrake1997 ....If the conversation happens through a series of letters, the writing can be interpreted as epistolary. If it is something more traditional, then it is probably just two people having a conversation. If Jeffers signifies something more internal, then the writing style can be interpreted as a monologue.... 13mo
nathandrake1997 ....But, maybe the point Cusk is trying to make by choosing not to "define" Jeffers is that irrespective of form or function, art intentionally or unintentionally is a medium of expression.... 13mo
nathandrake1997 ....Whether it is through the tip of a quill dipped in ink or the strokes of a paintbrush on a canvas or through the myriad of means of creating "art", ultimately what is expressed is what lingers after experiencing the work of art rather than the means used to express.... 13mo
nathandrake1997 ....There are a myriad of fascinating aspects in this stunning novel, but the one that fascinated me the most was Cusk's way of dealing with "form" and "function" or rather her exquisite way of blurring the line between both.... 13mo
nathandrake1997 ....In some ways, this lack of "definition" in a traditional sends makes Cusk's stunning prose soar in ways that a more traditional framing device could never let it do so.... 13mo
nathandrake1997 ....There's a lot more I'd love to write about and express about regarding this stunning novel, but, due to a surgery I've had recently and the laundry list of medicines I have to take daily due to which my headspace is currently in varying states of weary and drowsy, this incoherent ramble is all i could come up with! 13mo
nathandrake1997 ....Nevertheless, a stunning book that is undoubtedly an essential read and one that shares the top spot at this year's Booker longlist with Arudpragasam's exquisite A PASSAGE NORTH ❤️ Can't wait to read more of Cusk's work (especially the acclaimed OUTLINE trilogy). 13mo
batsy I've yet to read a single Cusk and been meaning to! It's embarrassing how long I've put off the Outline trilogy 😆 13mo
SamAnne I‘m reading my first Cusk right now—Outline-and loving it. 13mo
SamAnne I‘m reading my first Cusk—Outline-and absolutely loving it. 13mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy I wanted to read Cusk from quite a while as well 😄 Glad that I started reading Cusk with this masterpiece ❤️ Can't wait to dive into the rest of her work (especially the OUTLINE trilogy ❤️) 13mo
nathandrake1997 @SamAnne Can't wait to read the OUTLINE trilogy ❤️ 13mo
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vlwelser
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Mehso-so

Meh. This was fine. But the narrator isn't very likeable. The author's use of vocab was interesting but it made the main character seem even more self absorbed.

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BekaReid
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

Second Place is a long monologue of a woman “M" telling the story of her obsession with “L“, a famous painter. Cusk explores issues of personal freedom, self-acceptance, and the desire to create/to express self through art. And there's some absolutely beautiful prose in Cusk's writing as well. (Cover art on the book is Girl Wading by Elmer Bischoff, 1959.)

Cathythoughts Nice review 👍🏻❤️… yes , some beautiful prose 14mo
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squirrelbrain
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

I‘m giving this a soft pick because, although I didn‘t really enjoy it, it was weirdly compelling and I couldn‘t put it down.

I couldn‘t work out if the narrator / MC was incredibly naive and childlike in her views, or remarkably self-aware and just really attention-seeking. Either way her narrative voice was one of the most annoying I have read.

Definitely the least favourite of my #bookerlonglist so far and I won‘t rush to read any more Cusk.

Cinfhen I LOVE this review😜 14mo
erzascarletbookgasm ‘most annoying‘ 😁 14mo
The_Literary_Jedi Now I have to know - stacked! 14mo
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BookwormM I enjoyed this one 🤣🤣 14mo
Cathythoughts She was annoying… but I did feel for her in the end 🤷🏼‍♀️ 14mo
Brimful I share the general ambivalence here. Found the writing compelling and interesting observations on property and personhood. But do I really care about the thoughts of this woman? I definitely have sympathy with those who have to be around her. 13mo
squirrelbrain You‘re so right @Brimful - some of the observations were insightful but clouded by the narrators lens. 13mo
72 likes7 comments
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JamieArc
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Mehso-so

I had intended to take a year off from being sucked in by the #manbooker nominees, yet here we are. I was drawn in to the premise of this short book, and true to form, with its stream-of-conscious thought by M, who grew quite insufferable to me, I thought this was going to be a slog to get through. Surprisingly, I couldn‘t put it down. There is a plot that left me needing to know what was going to happen. (Cont.)

JamieArc Probably a lot of interesting things to ponder, but nothing I wanted to really engage with. Man Booker Longlist 1 done, now on to the next! 14mo
JamieArc @Cathythoughts Here is my review. When I read your review, I felt similar to you. 14mo
squirrelbrain I feel similar too - I‘ll post my review tomorrow. 14mo
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squirrelbrain And, funnily enough, I was also *not* going to read the nominees this year…that didn‘t work out! 14mo
JamieArc @squirrelbrain I will look forward to seeing it. Why can‘t we resist??? For me, there have been a few that I really loved, so I can‘t resist in case there are one or two this year that I will really love too. 14mo
Cathythoughts I agree I wasn‘t going to bother being under pressure to read Booker books 🙄😂… and her we are ! Yes , we have similar feelings.. the plot kept me going to .. and it was short 👍🏻 and I‘m glad I read it 🤷🏼‍♀️ 14mo
Cathythoughts @JamieArc @squirrelbrain That‘s why I can‘t resist either , Jamie, just in case I miss a really good one. Plus it‘s fun that a lot of us are reading them and can share thoughts 👍🏻❤️ 14mo
48 likes7 comments
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Cathythoughts
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

A strange book. I felt an uneasiness at times & thought it would become a depressing read .. but I didn‘t bail .. the MC , M , invites an artist , L , to come & stay in her remote home in the marsh. M , seems removed from herself and the other characters & I felt a distance from all of them , no connection. Some good insights into life , relationships. Some good descriptive passages of the marsh area & of the odd characters. An empty feeling 👇🏻

Cathythoughts 👆🏻on finishing… 🤷🏼‍♀️, but I did want to finish it. An abstract kind of book … I‘m still thinking about it all. (edited) 14mo
squirrelbrain Interesting review Cathy. I completely forgot that I‘d started this the other day until your review reminded me. I‘m really not sure about it yet; I want to keep reading but I‘m not sure I‘m understanding it! (edited) 14mo
Megabooks Interesting review. 🤔 14mo
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Tamra Sounds like a puzzling read. 14mo
Cathythoughts @squirrelbrain @Megabooks It‘s a strange one , I wouldn‘t be reading it again … but there‘s something about it 🤷🏼‍♀️… I‘m interested to see if I just forget about it now. 14mo
Cathythoughts @Tamra It was !! 14mo
CarolynM Intriguing! I can't decide whether I want to read this or not. 14mo
KarenUK After seeing both yours and Cindy‘s reviews… I‘m not sure whether to dive in or not…. But I think I just might…. You may just have sold me! 🤷‍♀️ @Cinfhen 14mo
Cinfhen I think you‘re gonna appreciate this one @KarenUK @CarolynM such a wonderful review, Cathy! I was halfway through and I just felt like the book was suffocating me. M was way to angry and introspective and I wasn‘t in the headspace for her litanies. Writing is strong and im curious to try a NF by Cusk ( if it‘s tone is a little gentler) im curious how you‘ll fair @squirrelbrain I think you might be able to get through (edited) 14mo
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen @KarenUK @CarolynM Thanks Cindy. I think what you say is true for me too.. that suffocating feeling & her litanies 🙄 … yes to both. I don‘t know what held me there. It‘s my first book by Cusk , some of the writing was beautiful. I loved the setting , the marsh… & what an odd bunch of people together. And it was short 👍🏻. It felt like a painting. I just googled & it might be influenced by ‘ Lorenzo in Taos‘ by Mabel Dodge Luhan 👇🏻 14mo
Cathythoughts 👆🏻her biography about her visitor, D H Lawrence… l must look up that book @squirrelbrain … There‘s a “Jeffers “ mentioned in that book too (edited) 14mo
Cathythoughts Mabel Dodge Luhan sounds a bit like M … I won‘t be going there. One M was enough !! @Cinfhen (edited) 14mo
Cinfhen Yes, after I bailed I read other reviews and a lot referenced the Mabel Dodge Luhan book (which definitely makes sense for M & L) and others did pick up on a poet named Jeffers. This was my first Cusk too! I can see why so many are awed by her. 14mo
Cinfhen I was and still am curious about the daughter and SIL and the relationship between Brett and the daughter. Did anything happen?? Was there some kind of resolution to all the underlying issues brewing in that house??? 14mo
Cinfhen Title is clever, as both the home was her second place but didn‘t M feel like she herself was always second place??? 14mo
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen Brett had a huge influence on the daughter ( not all bad … all the characters were flawed & often annoying … but in the end I felt some compassion for M .. …. A few things happen in the second half .. not sure how much to say , you might pick it up again ?? 14mo
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen I agree about the title .. Second place resonates.. also that second place where L & Brett lived …. And that feeling of everything being once removed , distant 14mo
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen and what about Tony ? I‘m still pondering over him … and that scene when they went to pick up L from the boat ( Tony‘s outfit & that whole scene paint quite a picture (edited) 14mo
Cinfhen I might pick it up at another point….I‘m definitely not in a good headspace for it right now. I‘m enjoying this light summer family drama SO MUCH MORE that @Megabooks suggested 14mo
AnneCecilie Interesting review. I‘m waiting on the Norwegian translation out in early October. 14mo
Cathythoughts @AnneCecilie I look forward to seeing your thoughts 👍🏻❤️ 14mo
64 likes21 comments
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BekaReid
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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"Why do we live so painfully in our fictions? Why do we suffer so, from the things we ourselves have invented?"

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Brimful
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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I could never reconcile myself to the fact that just as you‘ve recovered from your own childhood, and finally crawled out of the pit of it and felt the sun and n your face for the first time, you have to give up that place in the sun to a baby you‘re determined when not suffer the way you did , and crawl back down into another pit of self sacrifice to make sure she doesn‘t.

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Brimful
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk

There was a small charcoal sketch of a woman asleep in bed, her dark head a mere smudge of oblivion in the tousled bedclothes. I admit a kind of silent bitter weeping did come from my heart at this record of passion, which seemed to define everything I hadn‘t known in my life, and I wondered if it ever would

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Brimful
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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About to start this, my third Booker long-listed read of 2021 Beautiful cover and clever title. I have never read Cusk before but I did see her adaptation of Medea some years ago which I thought brilliant but self obsessed. Despite mixed reviews trying to read this with an open mind!

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Cinfhen
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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This is a #Bail for me ~ and it‘s TOTALLY #MeNotYou but I have a personal aversion to certain people who chatter endlessly about philosophical questions and over analyze EVERY minutiae about a perceived act or event that occurred 16 years ago. I feel like I‘m being hammered with the narrator‘s anger against men, God, motherhood, fate, life. Sorry, I‘m not interested in sticking around any longer ☺️ Curious to hear others thoughts

TrishB I wasn‘t drawn to this one anyway- but definitely leaving alone now! 14mo
Megabooks This is exactly why I‘m not a Cusk fan. No shade to readers who love her but not for me. 14mo
Cinfhen Yeah, it‘s probably a personal preference @Megabooks @TrishB because she is obviously brilliant and insightful and her writing is sharp …it‘s just TOO MUCH mental olympics for me 😆 14mo
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Cinfhen Now I feel like I NEED #BrainCandy 🍭🍦🍫🍹 14mo
Cinfhen I think this one is calling to me 14mo
Cinfhen Ummmm, maybe NOT / the reviews aren‘t looking to good maybe it was the other JW book with summer in the title ??? 14mo
Cinfhen Or maybe I should read this one @Megabooks 14mo
Megabooks This has been my favorite brain Candy of the summer… 14mo
Megabooks Just sent you an email. Nbd, just catching up. 14mo
squirrelbrain Oh no, this one has just come off hold on Libby for me! Still, I can always bail can‘t I?! 14mo
Cinfhen Just saw your email @Megabooks today is super busy!!! E leaves early Sunday morning and tonight I am hosting 12 of his friends for Shabbat dinner!!!! I haven‘t hosted a BIG dinner like this since before Covid. I did borrow the Weisberger from #Scribd 😍but I probably won‘t start it until after the weekend. I see it‘s your girl Therese narrating 🤩 14mo
Cinfhen You may love it @squirrelbrain I will admit to being very curious about where the story is heading but I HATED listening to M‘s ramblings too much!!!! Keep me posted 14mo
JamieArc I‘m slogging through this one and will probably make myself finish it because it‘s so short. I yell at myself a little bit for making myself read Man Booker nominees, hoping to find a gem that I actually like. 14mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen oooo…enjoy!! 👍🏻👍🏻 I‘m glad he‘ll get another big event with friends before he leaves. Very thoughtful of you to do that! Yes, Therese does a great job with the narration, but the plot is fun, too. 14mo
Cinfhen I had less than 2 hours of audio to go but I still bailed @JamieArc I know what you mean about the Man Booker, although I ended up LOVING 14mo
Cinfhen @Megabooks I wish I wasn‘t feeling so curmudgeonly at the moment / dinner was going to be 6 friends and then 4 asked to bring their GF and then E felt the need to invite 2 more friends…bringing the total to 12 plus we are 4! It‘s a lot!!!! 14mo
SamAnne I'm reading my first Cusk this month, Outline. For a book club. 14mo
Flaneurette @Cinfhen I liked the set piece in the beginning with the devil on the train(I pictured a Johnny Depp w liver failure) and wished it had continued in that vein. She really had an axe to grind I think 🤔 14mo
Cinfhen I‘m curious about her NF @SamAnne please lmk how it goes! And yesssss @Flaneurette she definitely was ANGRY, which is fine but I wasn‘t in the mood to deal with her anger…I‘ve got my own 💩💩💩 14mo
britt_brooke Hard pass. Thanks for taking one for the team. Or at least, for me! 😂 14mo
BarbaraBB My BFF bailed on this one too. I won‘t bother. 14mo
Cinfhen I was confident in my decision to bail @BarbaraBB @britt_brooke even though I was halfway through but I‘m not confident that others won‘t enjoy. It‘s good writing but the relentless tone and pent up anger was too much for me🤕😬 14mo
JamieArc @Cinfhen I ended up finishing this. After about 40 pages, I didn‘t want to stop reading and needed to know what happened. I will say that if I had listened to the audiobook, I probably would have hated it because I found M quite insufferable. 14mo
Cinfhen I am DEFINITELY curious how this book ends @JamieArc You can share the details under spoiler tag below 👇🏽 PLEASE 😁 14mo
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blurb
Cinfhen
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Not sure what to make of this one…have you read it yet @Simona ??? #BookerLongList There seems to be a lot of new books that are stream of consciousness/ramblings/ musings - writing is lovely but a wee bit pretentious 😁I should say there is a plot here, just not sure it‘s going to be a moving force for the novel. This is much more a character driven read and so far M & L are very unlikeable (🥺)

Megabooks I‘ve tried Cusk twice and wasn‘t able to get into either. I‘d like to try this, but I‘m not sure. 14mo
Megabooks And this is exactly what I thought of both. 14mo
vlwelser I just snoozed my hold on this one. These Booker selections are written beautifully but they seem a bit dry. 14mo
Flaneurette @Megabooks I liked this one a lot and I think Cusk is a genius but I liked her trilogy more. She is what I wanted Knausgaard to be. Super smart, sharp observations of human frailty but this one is claustrophobic in its relentlessness. 14mo
Cinfhen Great word choice @Flaneurette it does feel both claustrophobic and relentless/ I‘ve heard her NF trilogy is very good @Megabooks but I haven‘t read her ever before @vlwelser it‘s not a long audio so I‘m willing to stick with it but I can‘t say im really “liking” it yet! 14mo
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review
BookwormM
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
Pickpick

#BookerLonglist2021 Book 3

Based on the synopsis I expected not to enjoy this so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself captivated from the first sentence. This book really called to me.

By the end of the story I felt I knew M really well while at the same time I was left thinking what actually happened.

This is based on another book Lorenzo in Taos so I do plan to read this and see what I might have missed in this reading.

review
charl08
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Panpan

#BookerLonglist

Nope. Nopety nope.
Woman writes to artist to invite him to stay on her property. Her daughter is already staying, they have a tense relationship. Artist arrives. Artist doesn't like her much. Artist doesn't do what she wants him to do (paint the landscape). Dramatic event takes place. Woman continues to be self-absorbed.

Image is of a Norfolk beach. Setting reminded me of this empty landscape.

Cathythoughts Beautiful sand dunes 💫 14mo
squirrelbrain Oh dear, these longlist books aren‘t getting great reviews so far… I have this one reserved on Libby. 14mo
Erinreadsthebooks “Nope. Nopety nope” might be my new favorite saying 😂😅👏🏆 14mo
See All 11 Comments
Cathythoughts Oh dear … I‘m ready for a new audio for my walks .. I got this one … I hope I‘m not “ nopety -nope “ too 😂… @squirrelbrain I‘ve ordered The Promice 🤞🏻… but nothing else on the list is really calling out to me from Litsy or anywhere … I‘ll try Second Place on audio .. (edited) 14mo
Nute “Nope. Nopety nope.” I just gotta use that phrase one day soon!😂 14mo
charl08 @Cathythoughts I have a book for walking the Norfolk coastal path. Maybe one day. 14mo
charl08 @Erinreadsthebooks & @Nute pretty sure I've stolen it from somewhere.... 14mo
charl08 @Cathythoughts hope you like it more than me... 14mo
Cathythoughts One can but try … 🤞🏻😬 I‘m not expecting too much , maybe that will help 14mo
squirrelbrain I‘ve just got that on Libby Charlotte, looking forward to it! Just need to finish a few other books first…. 14mo
52 likes11 comments
quote
charl08
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Oh, why was living so painful, and why were we given these moments of health, if only to realise how burdened with pain we were the rest of the time? Why was it so difficult to live day after day with people and still remember that you were distinct from them and that this was your one mortal life?

Cathythoughts Another beautiful pic ❤️ 14mo
Tanisha_A 🖤 (edited) 14mo
46 likes2 comments
quote
charl08
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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I once told you, Jeffers, about the time I met the devil on a train leaving Paris....

#FirstLine

Hazel2019 I loved this one… 1y
50 likes3 stack adds1 comment
review
Kaarin
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Panpan

Everybody in this book is a jerk

review
Hazel2019
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

To me this was a 5 🌟 read! A woman invites a famous artist to stay at a ‘second place‘ on her property. His paintings have had a profound impact on her and she wants to bring the artist himself closer to her. The book reads like a memoir, is thoughtful and genuine and full of great one liners. A work of art itself. I‘ll be reading this one again for sure.

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review
keepingupwiththepenguins
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Panpan

This book can be found at the intersection of Ferrante‘s Neapolitan novels and Garner‘s autobiographical fiction, but sadly falls far short of them both. There‘s nothing fresh or ground-breaking in this testament to privileged second-wave feminism. Second Place is fine, it‘s readable, but it‘s also nostalgic to the point of boredom and quite forgettable. Full review: https://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/new-releases/